How to choose new skincare

How to choose new skincare products

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty, How to 20 Comments

What makes you switch skincare regimes or brands?

Are you seduced by advertising, the promise of flawless skin?

Or do you seek out a change when your skin or lifestyle changes?

Questions, questions … I know. I’m hitting you up with the big ones early today.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about over the last six weeks or so as I’ve gone about trialling four skincare ranges.

How to choose new skincare

Now, these ranges are not necessarily new out there on the shelf in beauty land. They’re just new to my beauty shelf.

Each is quite different from the other and each brings something to the skincare table that will suit a range of different skins, lifestyle and budgets.

When it comes to skincare, I have some pretty basic rules that would probably get me thrown out of beauty school ūüėČ

The first is: Just do it. 

Do something, regularly, preferably twice a day to care and nourish your skin. It’s that consistency that will pay off over time. Just look to your grandma … mine is 96 and still putting Ponds cream on her hands and face every night. And her skin is amazing.

The second is: Wear sunscreen.

Cracked record, I know. But seriously, the older I get I’m a bit of a living and breathing example of what consistent sunscreen application can do to support your skin. I grew up in Queensland spending summers at the beach and have lived at the beach in Queensland for half my life. Yes, I have wrinkles but not of the tough, leather variety.

So, how do you find the products that best suit you? The ones that you know you can be consistent with their application?

1. Consider your age. I don’t like to pinpoint skin needs purely based on age because sometimes lifestyle factors will have a greater determination about what your skin needs. Age can be a factor when our blessed hormones are having a party in our system. That might cause you to have adult acne on one hand or dry and wrinkle-prone skin on the other. If you’re really lucky, it will be both.

2. Consider your lifestyle. Do you live at the beach? In a super cold climate? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors or does your job see you spend too much time indoors? This can play a huge factor in determining what your skin needs. Either way – your skin is looking for nourishment. Is your current skincare regime providing enough for your lifestyle?

3. Consider your budget. This is a biggie. Some people will think nothing of dropping hundreds of dollars on an eye cream; for others, a $30 moisturiser will be¬†snuck¬†tightly woven into a family’s grocery budget. Either is fine. Whatever floats your skincare boat, there is a product to suit in any budget range. Consistently, I use a range of budget and mid-priced skincare products. Delivered results have never solely been reflective of the price I’ve paid for a product and nothing excites me more than finding a reasonably priced product that brings results without breaking the bank.

4. Trial and error. Yes, you can get all the clinical advice in the world but until you try the products on your skin and in your lifestyle, you are only guessing as to how it’s going to work for you. Trial and error is not such a difficult task if you’re grabbing something from the supermarket shelf – if it doesn’t work, you haven’t wasted a whole lot of money. If you’re looking at a range at a beauty counter, in a salon or medical clinic, then ask if they have free samples or travel sizes you can buy at a cheaper price before you invest in full-sized products. How long you trial a product for will depend on your skin – you might have an adverse reaction the first day. If no reaction, give the new products at least two weeks.


Four skincare ranges I’ve been testing

Ujene Switzerland

What: Ujene Switzerland, a luxe anti-ageing skincare range that harnesses Swiss ingredients and delivers results without this list of chemical ingredients.

Price range: $USD56-105 each

Try it because: ¬†You’re looking for solutions to ageing skin that include active ingredients aimed at boosting the collagen in your skin without additives and chemicals.

NIVEA Q10 Night and Day Cream

What: NIVEA Visage Q10, a budget, results-driven range that is simple to understand and use.

Price range: $19 each

Try it because: You can pick it up at the supermarket; it’s as easy as remembering to put one cream on at night time, one in the morning; and the products work to give ageing skin a lovely boost in just a couple of weeks.

La Mav

What: La Mav,¬†Australia’s first certified organic, 100% naturally derived, anti-ageing skin care range.

Price range: $39.95-99.95

Try it because: You’ve not only made a conscious decision to use organic products on your face or body, you’re looking for science behind them to make sure they deliver.

Aspect Dr

What: Aspect Dr,¬†an Australian owned Physician’s Only range based on independent research, incorporating ingredients with maximum percentages proven by clinical trials.

Price range:¬†$99 for the starter kit. It’s available through GPs, skin aestheticians and specialists.

Try it because:¬†You’re wanting to explore skincare under the guidance of medical or trained aestheticians who can pinpoint the exact product combination of serums and creams that will work to help ageing skin and are seeking products free from chemical additives.


What worked best for my skin?

The NIVEA Visage Q10 creams and the Aspect Dr starter kit. With both, I felt and saw results in a very short period of time. For you, it might be different.

It really does get back to weighing up whether you’re happy with what you’re using now versus taking time and spending a little money on trialling something new.

If your skin is glowing then don’t fix what ain’t broke but if you’re thinking that the reflection looking back at you in the mirror could use a bit of a helping hand, then it’s probably time to try something new.

Either way, consistency is the key.

What did your skin tell you when you looked in the mirror this morning?

* The above products were gifted to me for editorial consideration (except for Aspect Dr … my girlfriend who owns a doctors’ surgery asked me to trial her new range for a second opinion) in accordance with my disclosure policy.

Comments 20

  1. Rosehip Oil – best thing ever! I have dry sensitive skin and use this under my night moisteriser, makes such a difference – my skin glows now. It has also greatly helped my teenage acne scars and baby stretch marks!

  2. Last year Tim sent off for a day at the spa ( lovely man that he is). I had the best facial I’ve ever had & the beautician got me on to a range of skin care & I’ve never looked back. It doesn’t fix all my skin problems ( I doubt anything will ever help with my blackhead situation!) but sometimes you just have to pick what’s bugging you the most & try & fix those things.
    The products are pretty pricey but after some looking around I found I could get them the net at a much, much lower price ( also in salon sized bottles) so this enabled me to keep using them.
    This morning my skin said I need to stop being lazy & cleanse at night. I seem to go through stages where I’m super vigalent & then for some reason I stop with the nighttime routine….A trip to Priceline is in my very near future to stock up on some lazy girl products for night time I think….

    1. Oh, yay for Tim and then yay for you for being clever in finding a way to keep getting the products! It’s very easy to slip into skipping the night time routine but when it becomes a habit it does feel funny to miss it!

  3. I go by the two R’s – recommendations and research.
    Firstly, I researched what’s best for my type of skin – combination oily/dry.
    Then I look for brand and product recommendations, from friends and online. I love reviews that specify the skin type of the reviewer, as it gives me a better idea of how the product may work on my skin.
    I recently had a friend rave about a brand that I hadn’t tried, which is organic, all natural and animal testing-free – all things I was hoping to find. (It’s also reasonably priced).
    So I researched their specific products, found that they had ones that should work for my skin and took a gamble. It’s only been about a week and a half, but so far, it’s paying off. My skin is clearer and I’ve got more of a glow from my skin being healthier and happier.

  4. This is a great post Nikki,as you know that I have been having problems with sensitivity and this hasn’t always been the case ,a year ago i wouldn’t have hesitated in trying something new and buying the big bottle of it ,BUT and that’s a big but ,my skin has been throwing a tanty lately and I don’t know why ,the girls at Dermalogica tell me it’s hormones at that could be right ,I am menopausal,I have been to the doctors and she just said to be very careful and avoid perfumes ,which I have been doing ,but think there is more to it ,I am lucky all those sunbaking times have not caught up with me yet but I do use sunscreen and have for a long time now,yes I have wrinkles of course but they are not so bad ,it’s the dry skin patches on my eyelids and face that are getting to me,so yes I agree I get samples or buy small bottles to try and if they work and don’t irritate well I will buy then.I think all companies should have trial size bottles,and with a decent amount in them I for one go for those ,cause sometimes the reaction doesn’t happen straight away it takes a bit more time,Thank you for another great post,one that is very important to me!!

    1. Lisa, I agree … it should be good practice for the more expensive brand to offer decent sized samples. Often if consulting with a skin aesthetician or GP, they can do this … and some beauty counters will put samples into travel pots for you. I think if you explain the situation with your skin upfront then if they’re available, they will help out. It’s tricky but I agree sometimes the reaction is straight up, sometimes it’s because of several days or a week’s use.

  5. I’ve tried the Nivea Q10 and didn’t see anything change. Unfortunately with the amount of skin issues I’ve got no one product seems to work. I’m currently trying the Loreal Youth Code Luminosity because it promotes getting rid of darks spots etc. One month in, not much difference.

    I’ve used so many products over the last 25+ years, puberty was not kind, and there never seems to be anything under the $20 mark that works. That’s why I’m thinking of just using all Olay by christmas but I’ve noticed that we don’t get all of the Olay products here in Aus. I’ve checked both the Aus and US websites and they have stuff we don’t get. Like the dermabrasion kit.
    I’ve heard Prevage recommended but considering my budget is $20 and under, $250 for Prevage or anything else is way too much.

  6. Nikki, I recently bought a well known day moisturiser, but it gave me a red itchy rash so of course have stopped using it. Just wondering if you know what the return policy is for this type of product? I don’t have the receipt, and bought it at Priceline.

    1. Hi Julie, the store would be unlikely to take back the product but you could try sending it back to the company itself – find their customer care number via their website. Unfortunately not all skin is equal – I react to a lot of things that don’t affect others and vice versa – that’s why samples are great as are budget products where you don’t lose money on things that don’t work for your skin. Also, if you have really problematic skin, seeing a specialist or skin aesthetician for a prescription for your skincare is a great way to go.

    2. Email the company and tell them what happened. I tried toothpaste once and complained how it made my mouth and lips swell and they sent me a cheque for the refund. Didn’t need me to do anything, just apologised and refunded my money.

  7. These kind of post are exactly why we all adore your blog! There’s real, accessible, helpful advice that we can use. Thanks Nikki! xx

  8. I am using Simple – Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturiser, which controls shine. I have found that it tends to dry my skin, leaving patches of flaky bits on my face so only two to three day use and alternate with sunscreen. Sorbelene is another favourite. At night use Sweet Almond oil but am looking for other products. Like the ad campaign with Megan Gale for L’Oreal. Renew Rosehip Moisturiser is the best moisturiser I’ve ever used and a great price.

  9. Thanks Nikki, i like it when other people can be my Guinea pig! It always matters to get someone else’s opinion on products. I rarely buy things anymore without reading the reviews! And I certainly trust yours and know you are a real person.

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